Cyril Gandy

Date of birth: Second quarter of 1886 (July, August or September)
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 539507
Rank: Chief Steward
Service: Mercantile Marine Reserves
Vessel: HMY Conqueror II
Died: 26th September 1916 aged30 years
Death location: North west of Fair Isle


Life Before the War
Cyril, aged 4, is listed on the 1891 census living at 2 Windsor Terrace, Southampton with his father James, who was a Fishmonger, mother Elizabeth Gandy, nee Fry, and sisters Ethel, Mabel and Gertrude.

In 1911, the family had moved to Above Bar Street where James had his own Fishmonger’s shop.  However, Cyril had left home by then and in January 1914 married Maud Parry, a Tailoress and moved into 23 Carlton Place, Southampton.

The Naval Memorial at Plymouth Hoe

The Naval Memorial at Plymouth Hoe

Military Service
Cyril enlisted at the start of the War and joined the Mercantile Marine Reserves, where in 1916 he was Chief Steward on HMY Conqueror II.  This ship was originally SS Conqueror – a steam yacht built in 1889 and owned prior to 1915 by Frederick Vanderbilt and then the Duke of Manchester, who,  on 1st February 1915, hired her to the Admiralty.  They armed her with 2 six-pounder guns and she was re-commissioned as HMY Conqueror II.

On 26th September 1916, in company with minesweeping trawler Sarah Alice, she investigated an unidentified British steamer, later confirmed as Admiralty Store Carrier St Gothard.  At 5.20pm German U-boat U52, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Hans Walther, launched 3 torpedoes destroying all three ships.  Tragically, Cyril Gandy was not among the survivors picked up by HM Destroyer Sylvia and he still lies with his ship.

Cyril is listed on panel 20 of the Plymouth Naval memorial on Plymouth Hoe.


Researcher: Mandy Shearing
Published: 23rd June 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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